English Premier League side Arsenal is one of those rare sides in world football that do specialize in promoting young talent all the while maintaining their status among the elite in the Premier League. Arsenal’s French gaffer Arsene Wenger has a reputation for not only spotting young talent but also developing them. The manager puts his faith on the players and ensures that the young players who do have the potential get enough exposure which helps them to attain the maturity, game time and development to be one of the stars in the future.
While developing talent in today’s competitive world is getting tougher by the day, it is the secondary process and the first and foremost thing is to first identify the player from a huge pool where it seems like everybody can make a name for them if given the chance. Arsene Wenger and his scouting team do know how to spot a talent and most interestingly the manager also does keep tabs on several young players who show promise across the globe.
There is a secret list which houses the names of some young players who according to the Arsenal manager can make it big in the future and one such name in the list is Goncalo Guedes. The 19-year old winger is a product of the Benfica youth academy and has been earmarked as the next big thing in Portuguese football. The youngster can play on both the wings as well as the secondary striker and has already shown that he has got great vision. He passes the ball with precision and can deliver menacing crosses from the wide areas consistently. The winger also has some tricks up his sleeve and can easily get past his man using some flashy techniques which draw huge cheers from the crowd. The effective gameplay of Guedes resulted in being awarded the Portuguese 2nd tier, Segunda Liga’s Breakthrough Player of the Year award.
Last season, Guedes made 17 appearances in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and also featured in the Champions League. His goal at the Vicente Calderon where Benfica stunned Atletico Madrid by a score line of 2-1 made him the youngest Portuguese player to score in the Champions League group stages. It has been recently revealed that Arsenal made contact with Benfica some time back and was planning to initiate the proceedings for the transfer of the winger for next year. However, with several clubs making a move for the player, Arsenal might be forced to make a move now.
Guedes has been scouted regularly by Arsenal last season and Wenger sees him as a part of his front three in the future at The Emirates. Since the player is contracted to Benfica till 2020, any deal would not be easy or cheap to conclude.
Arsenal manager continues to state that the club is still in the market for the players and with some cash in hand Wenger can do business with the Portuguese club if he senses that some other team is likely to lure him away. At the moment, though, Guedes is not the priority but he is someone who has a serious possibility of ending up in North London in the near future.
Arka Tarun Mukherjee
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